The last few months at Clay have been incredibly busy – raising a round of capital from investors, moving across the country, expanding the team, and a bunch of behind-the-scenes work on what’s next for the company. With most of that behind us, we’re excited to make some announcements.
The first big announcement is the Clay team looks much different now. If you’ve been following the progress of the company of the past 2 years, you’ve likely dealt with myself (Austin) or Robert. Robert helped tremendously in the early stages of the company as our developer evangelist/community manager – all while still in school full time at the University of Texas. Now that we’ve moved the company to San Francisco, Robert is back to focusing 100% on school.
The first new addition to the team is one of the most impressive people I’ve ever met – Zoli Kahan. Zoli joins us as a co-founder and CTO. Prior to Clay, he was in high school… well, dropping out of high school for a 6-month stint at another San Francisco-based startup. You can read his full story here and his post about Clay here.
More recently we brought on Cristian Ruiz, an incredibly talented designer and user experience expert, as our Lead Designer. Rather than going to college, Cristian spent his time perfecting his design skills and making money from them through contract work. However, his most recognizable contribution is Pixel Shift, where he redesigns apps he feels could present themselves better on Android.
Every one of us is super passionate about games – so much so that our office has a projector that lets us play games on an 18 foot screen…
Which brings us to our move to a new office (and new state).
We decided it would be best for the company if we operated out of San Francisco, California. Zoli had already moved here, I followed in July, and Cristian made it here a month later. So far we’re loving it – great people and great weather.
In order to grow more quickly, we raised a seed round of $550,000 from a great cast of investors. You can see the article VentureBeat wrote about the funding here. Our investors include Joshua Baer (started Capital Factory, the main hub for startups in Austin, TX), Rony Kahan (founded Indeed.com), several folks in an AngelList Syndicate, and two gaming companies that are dominant in Asia, and working toward building equally dominant Western audiences: DeNA and Chukong Technologies.
We’re using this funding primarily to hire a small team to make the next iteration of Clay a huge improvement over what we’ve done so far.
2014 as a whole has been a whirlwind. At the start of this year, we had 20,000 registered users – 9 months later, we’re at over 4,000,000.
What led to all of this growth? The main cause was Kik, a messaging app for iOS and Android that 40% of US teens use. We were able to get on Kik fairly early on with their platform, and have done very well since then.
Prior to this growth, we determined that the one thing developers care about most is distribution – the tools we offer help, but when it comes down to it, what matters most is helping connect the consumer to the developers’ games. Now we have that we have that distribution for some of the games and apps we built, we can move toward connecting those consumers with the 1,500+ HTML5 games we have on the Clay platform.
We’re taking all of the best features and ideologies of the web and applying them to games like no one has done before. Games have evolved at a such a rapid pace in the last few decades and we’re excited to be at the forefront of the next momentous change.
In order to remain in the best position to make an impact on how people play games, we’re growing the team – starting with more engineering talent. If you love games and want to work with us, shoot me an email: firstname.lastname@example.org. If you’re sending a résumé, go ahead and chop off the ‘education’ section – a piece of paper doesn’t make you a great developer, so it holds no weight in our decision process (Clay has a grand-total of 0 college degrees, and 2/3 high school degrees).
We’re strong believers in open-source, so a lot of what we build you’ll find on the Clay.io GitHub Account. For most internal tools we’ve worked on in the past few months, we’ve had open-source in mind from the start – you’ll find those repositories below:
- flak-cannon (client) – RESTful A/B testing framework built on node.js where conversions aren’t tied to experiments
- flare-gun – A REST JSON API testing framework – using Promises
- zock – HTTP mocking for the browser
We’re also making the new client-side stuff we’re working on public:
- Clay Mobile – Our new marketplace, focusing on mobile
- Design Assets – most of our design-related things for Clay.io
Expect to see quite a few big improvements to be rolled out in the near future!
A huge thanks goes out to each and every one of you who has helped us get to this point. It has been an incredible journey so far, and will only continue to get better!